SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - In 2016, Seminole County voters backed Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. Nationwide, Republicans won.
Two years later, Seminole County backed Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson. Nationwide Democrats won.
That trend is not by accident, at least according to one leading D.C. research firm.
“In this very divided country where are the places that really bring people together, that have people of all walks of life, places that are the country in a microcosm,” said Patrick Ruffini, of Echelon Insights, the group behind the study. “We calculated the most statically normal places in the country and what we found was that Seminole County ranked pretty high up there. It ranked seventh.”
Ruffini and Echelon Insights compared things like education, income and age. By weighing each of these metrics against the country as a whole, his team ranked each counties in the county. In the top 25 for the U.S. are two Florida counties: Seminole at No. 7 and Duval at No. 23 (Dauphin County, Pennsylvania came in at No. 1).
“The typical American community isn’t a small town that voted for Donald Trump to counterbalance Hillary Clinton’s lopsided margin in the cities. By definition, it’s something in between. This usually means that it’s a small city with surrounding suburbs, mainly located in the Northeast and Midwest, that not only was closely contested in 2016 but closely resembles the social and demographic characteristics of the country as a whole,” Echelon Insights said in its report.
For political campaigns, this means Seminole County can be seen as predictive of the country as a whole.
“Place that were once very up for grabs are no longer that up for grabs and you have places that are moving away from that, so (Seminole County is) going to be one to watch in 2020.”
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